Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden expressed remorse in his postgame press conference about his comments aimed at Demaurice Smith.
Gruden has come under fire since e-mails of his became public in which he made disparaging comments about Smith. In one of the e-mails, Gruden wrote “Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of Michelin tires.”
Smith, a Black man, is the executive director of the NFLPA and won re-election to his post on Friday.
Details of Gruden’s Actions
Gruden made the comments in e-mails from 2011 that were discovered and released to the public last week. He acknowledged five to seven e-mails where he made comments about both Smith and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Gruden admitted to calling Goodell an expletive saying he was “in a bad frame of mind” when he did it. He was working for ESPN as an analyst on Monday Night Football at the time. The league stated they are examining discipline for Gruden despite him not being employed by the league.
The Raiders head coach said he has yet to hear from the league about possible discipline.
Fallout Of Gruden’s Comments
After the Raiders lost to the Bears 20-9 on Sunday, the pressure on Gruden intensified. #FireGruden began trending on Twitter as fans called for action against the coach.
— Ron Agers (@SPORTWORLDORDER) October 11, 2021
Gruden apologized after the game and insisted that his comments had no racial connotation.
ESPN’s Chris Mortenson reported on Sunday players in the Raiders locker room have reacted differently. Some are defending Gruden while some believe that his actions are worthy of punishment.
An NFL spokesperson called the comments “appalling, abhorrent and wholly contrary to the NFL’s values.” The league has taken a strong stance against racism in the wake of last summer’s racial unrest following the killing of George Floyd.
The league committed $250 million over ten years to combat systemic racism in June of 2020.
Owner Mark Davis called the comments “disturbing” and said that is “not what the Raiders stand for.” Gruden is in the fourth year of a ten-year contract in Vegas and holds a 22-31 record with the Raiders. The team is currently 3-2 and has lost their last two games after starting 3-0.
If the Raiders continue to struggle, the pressure on Jon Gruden will only increase.